I heard the words “Follow the Science” so many times from 2020 into 2021. First, you can prove every good-faith statement either true or false. Second, in order to consider something “science”, it needs to follow the scientific method.
How to Follow the Science
Most children learn the elementary scientific method around first or second grade (ages 6-8). With the basic principles taught there, you can take apart most questions and determine a theory. Once you can prove a theory applies to every situation, you can call that theory a fact.
Introducing the Scientific Method
In order to follow the science, people should understand at the very least the elementary scientific method (Gauch, 2003):
|1. Hypothesis Formulation||If I drop a ball on Earth, it falls to the ground.|
|2. Hypothesis Testing||Every time I drop a ball, it falls towards Earth.|
|3. Deductive and Inductive Logic||Inductive logic says that the ball fell every time I dropped it. |
Deductive logic states that the ball continues to fall every time you drop it.
|4. Controlled Experiments||Changing the surface I drop the ball onto does not change my results.|
Dropping the ball from varying heights does not change my results.
Altering the color of the ball does not change my results.
Changing the weight of the ball does not change my results.*
|5. Interactions Between Data and Theory||The data states that based on my experiments, my hypothesis continues to remain true. However, they didn’t take into account that you can fill a ball with an element that weighs less than air, making it float. I should adjust my hypothesis and retry my experiments.|
|6. Limits to Science’s Domain||Within the empirical limits of science, I can theorize that every time I drop a ball weighing more than air, I will observe it falling towards Earth.|
Following the Science/Scientific Facts
Establishing something as a scientific fact requires years, sometimes decades or centuries, of experimentation because of deviations in the data. However, many scientific facts already withstood the test of time, ranging back as far as the medieval ages.
Whenever I hear someone tell me to “follow the science”, I will ask them to explain the science to me. Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you probably don’t understand it yourself.” Before you tell anyone to follow the science, you should certainly investigate it yourself.
- Gauch, H. G. (2003). Scientific method in practice. Cambridge University Press.